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Enduring Promise
By Tempest Knight

Chapter One

“Don’t do this to me,” Evan Harris muttered under his breath.

His sports car lurched one last time, shoving him against the steering wheel, knocking the wind out of him, before it came to an abrupt stop and died.

“C’mon, start.” He turned the key and pressed the gas pedal several times, but the motor remained dead.

“Shit!” He slammed his fist against the steering wheel. He fished his cell phone from the backpack on the passenger seat and hesitated for a moment. Who could he call? Nobody knew where he was headed. He'd jumped into his car and driven away without even leaving a message for his assistant. He let out a long sigh. Maybe Triple A. He started to punch the numbers when he noticed the No Service Available in the display.

“Great. Just fucking great.” He threw his cell phone back in the bag. Leaning back, he ran his hands through his hair in frustration. He looked out the windshield to see nothing but a great expanse of short grass prairie and scrub vegetation. The sun’s weak rays barely pierced through the thick, low hanging gray clouds. At least the hard rain that had followed him since he left the highway had lightened to only a soft drizzle.

What the hell had he been thinking when he took this shortcut? Rubbing his temples, he frowned. But that was exactly the problem, wasn’t it? He’d not been thinking. Tension and unease had slowly built inside him for days. But this morning he’d awakened with a sense of restlessness he couldn’t explain. The urge to get away from New York—and his work—had grown as the hours went by. This morning, before he’d had time to consider what he was doing, he’d phoned his partner to take over the photo shoot he'd scheduled. Then he’d packed a light bag, jumped in his car, and slammed his foot down on the accelerator like a possessed madman. The car ate up the miles. The need to drive away had been all consuming. Yet, the edginess hadn’t eased once he’d hit the highway. On the contrary, it’d grown with each mile. Mixed with a sense of urgency. Until he’d meandered onto the country road.

“Yeah, well, now I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere,” he muttered. Opening the glove compartment, he pulled out a road map he kept there for emergencies like this. As he studied the map carefully, his frown deepened. Once he’d gotten out of New York, he’d been compelled to head south, that much he remembered. Yet he couldn’t remember exactly when or where he’d gotten off the highway.

Tossing the map aside, he threw his head against the headrest, eyes closed, and swore under his breath. Unbelievable. He was lost. Really lost.

You are not lost.